<!-- begin blogger thumbs --><!----><!-- end blogger thumbs -->A league source informed me that a possible three-way deal involving the Wizards, New York and Houston "doesn't have legs right now." Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] that would send Tracy McGrady to the Knicks, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to the Rockets and Al Harrington to the Wizards. Another source confirmed the discussions, but added that nothing is imminent.
The Rockets are actively working to move McGrady's $23-million expiring contract and they have been in discussion with the Wizards for several weeks. Although the basic framework is set, more pieces would have to be included to make any deal work because the salaries don't match up. The Wizards also have little interest in taking back salary, unless it is coming from a young prospect or a valued rotation player. They are also seeking a draft pick to make any deal work.
Harrington is in the last year of a deal that pays him about $10 million, but he is also the Knicks' second-leading scorer at 17.8 points per game. He's actually scoring better and shooting better than Butler this season. The Wizards were interested in acquiring Harrington in the summer of 2004, but President Ernie Grunfeld decided to make a deal for Antawn Jamison instead.
Jamison continues to be linked to Cleveland. But the league source said that while the teams have talked, the Cavaliers have yet to present an offer to get a deal done. That could change in the next week, but is growing less likely with Cleveland having the best record in the league and on a 12-game winning streak -- with Mo Williams and Delonte West sidelined.
The Wizards appear to be open to the salary cap relief that comes from an expiring deal, which means that Dallas also remains a possible destination for Butler. The Mavericks have been slumping miserably of late, and are coming off humiliating 36-point loss to Denver last night. They are offering Josh Howard, who is having an awful season and has complained about his role. Howard essentially has an expiring deal, since there is a team option on his $11.8-million salary next season.
Butler has helped raise his value, scoring 54 points in the past two games. And as I reported after the win in Orlando, he already sounds like someone who has accepted that he will get dealt. We'll know for certain in the next eight days.
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What does everyone think? Harrington for T-Mac? It's picking up steam....
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